Five Sleepy Heads
Words & Music by Sid Tepper / Roy C. Bennett
Originally recorded by Ernestine Schumann-Heink in 1906.
Tepper and Bennett? Add German classical composer Johannes Brahms, for this song is a sort of pop version of his lullaby, 'Guten Abend, Gut' Nacht', or 'Wiegenlied' opus 49, no.4. Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany on 7 May 1833 and died in Vienna, Austria, on 3 April 1897. 'The song was written in honor of the birth of a child of Brahms's friends Bertha and Artur Faber in 1868. Years earlier, Brahms had briefly fallen in love with Bertha when she was a young visitor to his female choir in Hamburg, and during the playful courtship she used to sing him a lilting 3/4-time Viennese melody.
The romance ended, but the friendship endured, and the melody that Brahms later composed for the private lullaby was a creative counterpoint to the earlier love song that the child's mother would remember singing to the composer. When he presented the gift to the Fabers, Brahms included this note to her husband: 'Frau Bertha will realize that I wrote the 'Wiegenlied' for her little one. She will find it quite in order that while she is singing Hans to sleep, a love song is being sung to her.' Bertha was the first person to sing Brahms's Lullaby' From 'Johannes Brahms: A Biography, by Jan Swafford (1997, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.). Schumann-Heink's recording was made in September 1906 and released on the single-faced Victor/Victrola Red Seal label, VBRS 81085 (VBRS 81083, an earlier take made on the same date, was not issued).
There were five sleepyheads
All tucked into their beds
While I sang a lullaby
One got dream dust in her eye
There were four sleepyheads
Playing possum with me
Mr. Sandman came by
And then there were three
Moonbeams play peek-a-boo
Three away became two
And my song was almost done
When the land of Nod took one
Kissed the last one goodnight
Then I heard not a peep
There were five sleepyheads
Now they're all fast asleep
Recorded: 1967/06/20, first released on Speedway
From the movie Speedway
June 20, 1967 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California
There Ain't Nothing Like A Song ____-06
Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby (Movie Version) WPA5 2555-01
Your Time Hasn't Come Yet Baby (Record Version) WPA1 1023-06
Five Sleepy Heads WPA1 1024-03
Who Are You (Who Am I)? WPA1 1025-06
Speedway WPA1 1026-04
Suppose (Long Version) WPA1 1027-01
Suppose (Short Version) WPA1 1028-07
June 21, 1967 MGM Sound Stage - Hollywood, California
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